Summary: Old Rag Mountain (3291ft) is the most spectacular mountain in the northern Virginia Blue Ridge. Unlike most of the mountains in the Blue Ridge, it stands alone as an outlying mountain rather than as part of a continuous chain. Old Rag is a popular hike in all seasons; on weekends it can be crowded. Old Rag's attractions include a rugged scramble over and through boulders on the Ridge Trail and spectacular views in all direction. This circuit includes two shelters with fireplaces that can be used for cooking. Camping is not permited above 2500 ft.
Trailhead: Take US 522 to SR 231, which is 0.8 mi south of Sperryville, VA and 12.7 mil north of Madison, VA. go south 8.3 mi on SR 231, cross Hughes River, and immediately rutn right (west) onto SR 602. Stary on left side of Hughes River. route number changes to 601, 707, and then 600. do not cross Hughes River. After 3.5 mi from SR 231, just beyond Nethers, VA, and SNP parking area accommodates 200 cars. Park here and walk 0.8 mi to small parking area at end of SR 600. A $5 to $8 fee will be charged for each person over 16. (Lat:38.56 Lon:-78.3)
Trail Guides for Old Rag Mountain, VA:
Circuit Hikes in Shenandoah National Park
by Potomac Appalachain Trail Club (PATC)
A Hikers Guide to the Geology of Old Rag Mountain
by SNP (www.snpbooks.org)
by Potomac Appalachain Trail Club (PATC)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: National Park Service 1-540-999-3500
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joe Cross, who has posted 56 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 2 of 32 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Mike on 11/10/2010
Since this was my first hike at all I only gave it 4 stars. We couldn't of asked for better weather. I think I'm now spoiled and can't wait to get back and do this hike again.
Reviewed by Rachael on 8/29/2010
If going during the fall, try to go during the week. The weekend can be extremely crowded. We had to queue up for over an hour at one point last year.
Reviewed by Steve on 8/17/2010
Did Old Rag for the first time when I was 16. Me and some buddies went up the fire road at night in the early spring. There was still a little snow on the ground it was beautiful. Being stupid teenagers we camped at the summit wich was so cool and got up early for the hike down the main trail. It was challenging getting over some of the rocks with a full pack but well worth it. Ever since then Old Rag has been one of my favorite hikes, and i always try to bring someone who has never been so I can see the thrills and amazement they get on such a great hike so close to home. I would tell anyone to take this hike. Just be ready for some hard work to get to the top. If you're not an experienced hiker take your time, rest plenty, and be careful
Reviewed by Dave on 8/2/2010
A friend and I hiked Old Rag on 6/31/10. It was a very enjoyable hike with plenty of scenic views. The roughly one mile rock scramble towards the summit can be challenging for most hikers. Just from what I experienced a man in his early 20's needed some help from friends. Also an older lady probably in her 60's was having a rough time between the rocks. I wouldn't take my kids on this one. To make this hike enjoyable take your time up the mountain, take your camera, take plenty of water (preferably in a Camelback), and have comfortable hiking boots. Hike on!
Reviewed by cb on 7/28/2010
i think this is the best hike for views and nontechnical rock scrambles in Virginia. it is an all around workout for legs and upper body. those who are not comfortable with dealing with the challenges of some unusual rock formations (they are spectacularly beautiful!) may not enjoy this hike. 360 degree views reminds me of NH hiking and in the fall.....well either go during week or get their early on the weekend or there will be gridlock.
Reviewed by Matthew Mills on 7/7/2010
My first hike!!! Saw a bear no momma on fire road which is where most people see them. Rock scramble very fun but difficult in some spots. The trail leading up to it was the worst. But still very fun would definatly do it again.
Reviewed by Viewer on 4/13/2010
was so much fun. rocks rock.
Reviewed by Vicky on 4/10/2010
It has been 20 plus years since I have hiked Old Rag. A favorite of my husband and mine with yearly, if not more often treks up to the summit when we were younger. Now (both of us in the mid 50's) decided to hike it with our teen. Wonderful, not quite the billy goat I used to be on the rock scramble, but with a help managed the entire hike with no trouble. Worth the effort and still is our favorite hike of the Blue Ridge/Shenandoah and Smokies. A little disappointed in the bridges, rather than everyone cooling their feet through the stream at the end. Many pleasant memories from Old Rag, definitely worth making your own memories with the hike.
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